Repaired knee put to the test

TY PILSON -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:08 PM ET

Here goes everything.

Calgary Roughnecks transition star Jesse Phillips, hobbled by a wonky right knee, will return to action today when the Riggers play the Toronto Rock in National Lacrosse League action at the ACC (noon, Ch. 27) with his playing future on the line.

The 30-year-old was sidelined after he tweaked the knee against the Edmonton Rush Feb. 17 and has missed four straight games. That same knee kept him off the floor to begin the season.

Phillips had surgery in October and the doctor warned him another serious injury would spell the end of his career.

Since hurting it again against Edmonton, the Langley, B.C., product has considered retirement but wanted to give it another try and see how his knee holds up before deciding if he should hang up his stick for good.

"I'm not stressed but I am a bit worried, I guess. I'm not sure what the right word for it is but I'm trying to be optimistic," said Phillips last night.

"I just hope everything works out."

Phillips has been rehabbing the knee and riding the stationary bike over the last four weeks to try and build up strength in it.

"It feels strong but it's just fragile," said Phillips.

"That's the best way to put it. My legs are strong but it's just a matter of how much pounding or twisting the knee can take."

The 6-ft. 1-in., 210-pounder plays a scrappy, high-energy game and transitions the ball aggressively. Whether or not he can play his game 100% as he tests out the knee remains to be seen.

"I'd like to try and get my feet wet slowly," said the southpaw, who has a goal and five points in four games this season. "But there's only one way I know how to play. Really, there's not much else to say."

Calgary GM Kurt Silcott hopes Phillips can help kickstart a Roughnecks squad that is coming off a 14-13 OT loss to San Jose last Saturday night and is 0-5 all-time against the Rock at the ACC.

"He's the heart and soul of the team," said Silcott.


Videos

Photos